Courtesy of Buck That!
With their signature red Chucks and a foot-tapping set to match, some Buck That! singers call themselves a real-life version of “Pitch Perfect.”
After winning Best Choreography for its set and placing third in the Great Lakes Region quarterfinal round in Centerville, Ohio, on Feb. 9, Buck That! advanced to the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella semifinal round, where the group had a similar finish.
Buck That! won Best Choreography for its song “Good Intent” and placed third at semifinals on March 23 in Ann Arbor, Mich., with 316 points, behind first place University of Michigan and second place Michigan State University with 423 and 339 points respectively. There were a total of eight competing teams.
D.W. Routte, a Ph.D. student in sport management and president of Buck That!, said the group’s set comprised of a mash-up of “Too Close” by Alex Clare and “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake followed by “Good Intent” by Kimbra and concluding with “Breath of Life” from Florence and the Machine.
Doug Brunner, a third-year in music education and psychology and Buck That!’s musical director, said he thought this was a very successful year and that performing at ICCA was a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“I was able to arrange music that was able to represent us well in the ICCA competition,” Brunner said. “It’s definitely an honor. We’ve worked very hard to get where we are today.”
Buck That! was founded as Ohio State’s first all-male contemporary a capella team in 2010 and began competing last year.
Leah Gastman, producer for the Midwest Region of ICCA, said she has seen the team grow together since its first competition.
“The thing that stands out the most about Buck That! is their energy on stage. That’s kind of the word that comes to mind when I see them perform,” Gastman said. “Everyone is enjoying, including the guys performing. They’re not just another group singing on stage.”
Buck That! received the first standing ovation of the night at the ICCA semifinal round.
“If they keep going with what they’ve done in just one year, I think they’ll have a very high chance of going to finals next year,” Gastman said.
Fans on campus predicted similar success.
Kelsey Davis, a third-year in psychology, said she definitely sees Buck That! winning the national championship in a few years.
“It’s really interesting to see guys taking on women’s songs and songs that we haven’t heard in a while and giving them an a capella spin,” Davis said. “They’re a bunch of sassy guys just going up there and dancing and having fun with it and it definitely shows. So that just makes them fun to watch.”
Despite the praise, Davis said that she sees where some may think of the group as overrated.
“I do have some guy friends who just don’t understand the female obsession with Buck That!. They think it’s a little ridiculous. I think that a capella is a genre that’s gaining a little more respect in the music scene,” Davis said.
Routte said he and his team are capitalizing on a capella’s increasing popularity and traveling to Nashville May 4 to audition for NBC’s “The Sing Off.”
“It’s exciting for all of us to do something like that. Not everyone gets to do something that great,” Routte said.
Routte added “We’re like real-life ‘Pitch Perfect.'”
Buck That! submitted a video to qualify for ICCA’s National Wild Card entry for the national championship set for April 20. According to the official ICCA website, www.varsityvocals.com, Buck That! did not progress to the national championship.